Shared space meeting in Wilton

CAMPAIGNERS are stepping up the pressure for radical changes to the way traffic uses a busy roundabout in Wilton.

Cllr Phil Matthews, the town’s mayor, is calling on residents to attend Wilton Baptist Church at 7.30pm on January 15 to boost a campaign to have “Shared Space” principles used at Wilton roundabout, where the A30 meets the A36.

He said: “I want to see if the enthusiasm is still there and ask people where they want to go with it.” Cllr Matthews said the first meeting on the topic on November 20 last year, organised by Wilton Community Land Trust, had been a considerable success and the audience of more than 100 had been interested to hear from the UK’s premier exponent of Shared Space design, Ben Hamilton-Baillie.

The Wilton roundabout is likely to become much busier once the nearby 34-hectare Erskine Barracks site is developed with up to 300 homes. A planning application for the development has already been submitted. Shared Space design can include doing away with traffic lights and having special paving installed instead of asphalt.

The aim is to smooth the flow of traffic and make junctions easier and more pleasant to use for pedestrians and cyclists as motorists have to negotiate their way through.

Councillor Peter Edge, who represents Wilton on Wiltshire Council and is the community land trust treasurer, said: “if the last meeting was anything to go by, there is a lot of enthusiasm. It’s a matter of trying to convince the Wiltshire highways department and the Highways Agency that the scheme could be effective and cost-effective and they should move on to a feasibility study.”

He said campaigners could apply for funding for a study if Wiltshire Council dragged its heels. Shared Space design could improve many areas, he said, including the Blue Boar Row area in Salisbury.

“Roundabouts always seem to work better when the traffic lights are out. They haven’t improved the Countess Roundabout,” he added.

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